Death by Chocolate

Nephi: ca 600 BC; Paul: ca 100 AD

Two of the greats in scripture; one in the Book of Mormon, one in the New Testament. Both were superb writers and prophets, and though their birthdays have a 700 year difference, they have these scriptures in common:

“O wretched man that I am!” 2 Nephi 4:17
“O wretched man that I am!” Romans 7:24

Centuries apart, the same lament—word for word. And not only that, but these are the good guys who “preached and teached.” Can we really consider them “wretched?” And if they were wretched, then what are we? What’s 100x below wretched? Basement wretched? Earth mantle wretched?

But, ah ha, what does the the word wretched really mean? For some uninformed reason I took the word to mean that you are a horrible individual. I went on the word “wretch,” which does mean “a deplorable or despicable character,” ( worthy to follow in the cinematic footsteps of Despicable Me 1, 2, and 3. 

My using the same definition to explain wretched is wrong (which wrongness on this, and other subjects, I’m unhappy to report happens often). The word “wretched,” in my trusty research spots—Strong’s Concordance, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, and—all mean the same thing: it’s the situation you’re in that’s the problem. You find yourself beset with trials that seem to go on forever. Life experience is the wretch, not you. 

Both of our cited great prophets follow their “O wretched …” declarations with lamentations over the flesh: 
Nephi: “Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh.”
Paul: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Let’s face it, the flesh can be a real bummer sometimes. Sure, the body is a gift, but in its current fallen state it’s the cheap knock-off, not the name brand.  

Dear Reader, this whole harangue has the sole purpose of stating the fact that the soul is not
a wretch, if only because of its Heavenly Parentage. We sometimes get ourselves in wretched situations through our bad choices, but we, us, kids of God, are not horrid wretches. 

And thanks to the help of Saint Dictionary, I have reached back through the centuries and I think I understand what Paul and Nephi were trying to say. Therefore I declare: 

“O wretched woman that I am! Who shall deliver me from the death of this chocolate? Yea, my thighs sorroweth because of my addiction to sugar.”

1 comment:

  1. GREAT RANT, SUE. Love how your writings always make me smile, make me wiser, and make me have greater faith. I love you a lot1